Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He delights in every detail

Sometimes the heavens seem like brass, and sometimes God feels very near.
For me, this is one of those latter times.

I'm a creative girl. When I was 11 or so I formed a baby-sitting service with fellow tweens complete with Red Cross certification. With every job since, if it wasn't a creative outlet, I found opportunity elsewhere.

At this point in my life, my 2 kiddos under 3 are top priority.
I have the luxury of staying at home with my kids and living a largely blessed life.

Still, and with much hesitation, I admit I find myself torn between this incredible gratefulness and restlessness as I sometimes feel this stay-at-home mom life is suffocating my creative & ambitious soul. (sounds dramatic I know, but this is me)
I met with someone recently that put it perfectly: wanting to feel useful.

I fear that I am "neglecting the gift that is in me" as Paul warns Timothy.
Fear that all of the passion God has placed in me for His work will die as I am dedicated now to diapers, dishes, laundry, etc.

This confession feels dangerous. Even as I write this I'm thinking of my mom: single-parenting, working full-time, putting herself through college. I couldn't be more acutely aware of the blessed life I live. I'm thinking of the girl that was like a little sister to me, who just mourned the 1 year birthday that would have been had her son lived to celebrate it.

How can I admit this struggle OUTLOUD??!

My prayer for a few years now has been:
"God, please let my gratefulness defeat this dissatisfaction. Give me grace to trust You.
Help me to enjoy these years while I'm 100% dedicated to my young kids, since they are irreplaceable.
Why do you continue to give me this creativity and ambition when it has little place to go?!"

And I'll tell you, God has put particular outlets in my life just when I need them.
These opportunities do not infringe on my responsibilities at home & they "scratch the itch".

It's like He gives me just enough to combat any feelings of "uselessness" or fear.
"For everything there is a season" Eccl 3:1

Recently the "itch" seemed to intensify.
My prayer was:
"I really want something I can do that makes some extra cash,
doesn't threaten my availability at home,
and makes me feel useful
for something other than mom or wife"

I'm telling you, it was as if the prayer had just left my lips and I got the call!

What seems to be a God-ordained opportunity. Nothing big, but just enough. Just perfect, from what I can tell.

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives."
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Graduation Day!


We're SO proud of you!
And since I partly consider my blog as a memory book, I couldn't let this graduation weekend go by without posting these iPhotos.
Dr. Dan was chosen as banner bearer for the Graduate School; an honor for him. But for Carter & I it meant he was first to come out in the procession, first to stand & get "hooded", and first to be pronounced "Dr. Daniel R Poulsen II"-less waiting...sort of.
Without Leapster, barely into the games on my iPhone, Carter was so well-behaved, sitting beside me even repeating words that he heard the speakers saying. It was as if his 3yr old mind could conceive how BIG this moment really was.
When he spotted daddy, he of course waved enthusiastically.
And when daddy found him, he said, at once "ok. now we have to go hug him."
Great memories. We're VERY proud!

Mom, I'm sorry you came all of this way & didn't get to attend. It was priceless to have you stay with Lilah that morning (I woke up & everyone else was still asleep just 15 min before I had to leave). What would I have done if you weren't here!

And may I say a big thank you to all of the family & friends that have celebrated with Dan even from far away!

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Celebrating our differences

Like the saying that no single & looking person wants to hear goes, I met my husband when I became so distracted by enjoying my life, that I stopped looking.
I was surprised

What surprised me even more was the type of guy that ended up being the perfect match for me. In the past I had attracted & seemed attracted to guys that were similar to me. And by this I mean, they could become engrossed in music or some creative art form, watching Project Runway or following current trends, and felt there was no life like Big City life.

Friends & family wanted to set me up with a guy that had just finished playing college football, was starting Medical school, and happily living back in my Upstate NY hometown. Ugh, definitely not "my type". I mean, what could we possibly have in common?

Turns out, a bunch!
While Dr Dan & I are in many ways very similar, even strangely so, that'll have to be another post.

In honor of our 6th anniversary,I'd like to celebrate our differences
(the ones I am thankful for!)

Six of my favorites:
1. Football! College football. He teaches at a Big 12 University & when we first arrived, we got Season tickets & he taught me the game. That reminds me, PATIENCE should be listed here too.) Now, in season, I am glued to ESPN right along with him for current news.

2. "On Sale" does not equal "Saving $". To save $, don't spend it.
I met him & I had debt. He had savings. (I'm wearing most of that savings on my ring finger). He taught me delayed gratification (did I list patience?) .

3. Hot food tastes better than lukewarm.

4. If you're going to bake, you've got to measure.
(I'm an eye-baller. He's a scientist).
And there's no supplement for real butter (one of our first arguments was over my belief that margarine was another name for butter!)

5. Being on time is more impressive than the list of accomplishments you packed into the last hour that made you late.

6. TIME magazine. & "All things considered" on NPR. Who knew they could be just as engaging as People or Real Simple?

I am unable to edit &/or finish this blog entry because another thing I've learned being married to Dr Dan is nothing says "I love you" like dropping something Im preoccupied with to spend time with him!
Happy Anniversary!
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rest Time

Nap Time evolved into Rest Time for Carter early this year.
Not because I decided he no longer needed a nap, but because I decided that going in & out of his room for 2 hours taking toys away, turning off the lights, and coercing him back into bed wasn't worth it.

Rest Time Rules are simple.
DO NOT come out until you hear your alarm (which I set for 1 hour)

DO come out if you have to go potty (see this post)

DO come out if you're bleeding

This week during rest time, Carter opened his door to come out.
He stopped instantly when he saw me coming toward him,
Me: "Carter, stay in your room until the alarm goes off."
Carter: "I'm bleeding."

I was all set to give him a "Boy who cried, 'Wolf'" warning when I saw a dark red drop hit the tile in the hallway.

His nose was bleeding!
(Unforseen bonus of living in hot, dry Texas for toddlers looking to stall @naptime) Pin It

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gospel ZUMBA?

I know it's a stretch, but hear me out.

I've been a faithful ZUMBAgal for a while now. Hands down, it's my favorite way to break a soaking sweat & break into the next size down!

When I first started I for one, was reminded of my husband's infamous dance floor grooves,
two, noticed how much better the girls with nightclub experience were catching on than I was, and
three, mid-step realized, that this jig was familiar to me...oh yes, all those CHURCH REVIVAL meetings!
(If you've done this class, you're wondering where amongst the hip hop and pelvic thrusts did you find a move you've done appropriately in church? It was short, but it was there.)

Dan has come along with me a few times. This has significantly upped the # of spontaneous dances in our house-with and without music playing-much to the kids' & Labrador's delight.

This morning, I had the Israel Houghton station playing on Pandora, blasting through my Bose dock. And it started.
Again I say rejoice came on & before I knew it Carter & Lilah & I were dancing.

SO many of the ZUMBA steps fit the beat of these Gospel songs! (I know, my cheeseball is showing!)

At the end of one song Carter, 3 yrs old, waived his hands in the air & said
"We love you, JESUS! You heal our boo-boos!!"

LOVE IT!!!!!!

THIS is it!
Thinking about how good God is & how blessed we are "when we come & when we go" and how "we are created to make His praise GLORIOUS" the dance just rose up! "When I think about the Lord...it makes me want to shout!", "When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart, I will dance like David danced", etc.
Thanks to all my ZUMBAing, the moves weren't half bad.

It got me thinking, I've got to bring this to church!
Surely someone somewhere has already started a Gospel Zumba class.

How about a weekday Gospel ZUMBA class while the other Bible studies are going on?
Talk about "I will bless the Lord at all times!"

I'm telling you, I get it now, if I hadn't before:
"And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment"
[Later when Michal regarded his dancing with disgust, calling him shameless (v20) David replied]
"I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!"2 Sam 6:14,21&22
*photo: zumba.com
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detailKID


Carter displays this kind of attention to detail that I think is pretty rare for a 3-year-old, but then again, I haven't been around other 3-year-olds for longer than playdates.

Regardless, we are consistently amused!

Here's an example (and the explanation for the toilet seat image; you can Google anything!):
We went to a local bounce house emporium-of-sorts with some friends earlier this week. We made a trip to the bathroom for a potty break. Of course.
Later in the week, back in our own bathroom for a potty break,
Carter pointed to the imprinted logo for the toilet maker and said,
"Mommy, we have the same potty as Jump-n-Jungle!"

"Do 3-year-olds notice these things? Or do I have a detail prodigy on my hands?!"

His mom could likely remember what you were wearing when she saw you last, and still remembers her best childhood gal pal's birthdays were 2.23 & 1.1, and all sorts of mostly useless details she's noticed over the years.
I wonder what will become of this blossoming gift in my 3-year-old. Pin It
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